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Clin J Sport Med. 2017 Jan;27(1):e1-e2. doi: 10.1097/JSM.0000000000000309.

Can KAATSU Exercise Cause Rhabdomyolysis?

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*Ohio Musculoskeletal and Neurological Institute (OMNI) and the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Ohio University, Athens, Ohio; and †Institute on Aging and the Department of Aging and Geriatric Research at the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.


In recent years, there has been increasing interest in using low-load resistance exercise in combination with a reduction in blood flow to promote muscle adaptation (ie, blood flow-restricted exercise or KAATSU exercise). There has been 1 case study reported in the literature of this type of exercise resulting in exertional rhabdomyolysis, and herein, we report the second case of exertional rhabdomyolysis. In this case, a 20-year-old man performed 6 sets of blood flow-restricted exercise (3 sets of knee-extension and 3 sets of elbow-flexion exercise). The subject presented with high levels of delayed onset muscle soreness in the days after the exercise bout exhibited high levels of creatine kinase (peak recorded: 36 000 IU/L), and was hospitalized for exertional rhabdomyolysis. We urge that investigators and practitioners use caution with blood flow-restricted exercise protocols and to begin these exercise programs modestly and gradually progress them with time.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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